Firm fights State agency over loss of trademark

Elema Halake
ACA Executive Director Elema Halake. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A company challenging the withdrawal of its trademark says it was not given an opportunity to be heard before the decision was made.

Uwin Investments Africa Company Ltd, whose solar electrical equipment has been detained by authoritites, is seeking to have its expunged trademark reinstated.

Through lawyer Edgar Washika, the company says the Anti Counterfeit Agency (ACA) failed to consider relevant factors before seizing its goods.

Uwin Investments Africa Company Ltd, which imports the products under the GDLITE brand, has sued the Registrar of Trademarks and ACA Executive Director Elema Halake over removal of its trademark. It has also named Bright Sky Solar Solutions as an interested party in the suit seeking to quash the decision of the registrar.

Uwin claims the registrar acted in excess of his jurisdiction, conferred under the Trademarks Act, by withdrawing the trademarks before allowing the firm to take a hearing date of the case. It was biased and may reasonably be suspected of bias for being made hurriedly in collusion with officers form the ACA and a third party so as to prejudice the applicant (company) in proceedings before ACA,” the company argues in its suit documents. It further argues that on the strength of the certificate of registration issued by the registrar, the firm prepared a shipment of two containers of unassembled solar charging and lighting systems from China.

However, the registrar argues that the firm, having been aware that the trademark was in contention, should not have imported the goods. Through lawyer Eunice Njuguna, the registrar told the court that the office followed the law in revoking the company’s trademark. “We made the decision because disputes must come to an end, we followed the law,” Ms Njuguna told the court, adding that the application by the company ought to be dismissed.

The ruling will be delivered on April 30.